Second-Half Surge Leads MTU Past Bulldogs
Big Rapids, Mich. - Host Michigan Tech used a late second-half surge to beat Ferris State by a 67-54 count in a key Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) North Division matchup on Thursday (Jan. 19) evening at the Student Development Complex Gymnasium in Houghton, Mich.
The two teams were tied 27-27 at halftime, but the Huskies outscored FSU 40-27 in the final half to pick up the win. Both squads were tied for first place in the GLIAC North Division entering the contest as MTU now owns a one-game lead over the Bulldogs.
Ferris State fell to 9-7 overall and 6-3 in the GLIAC with the setback while Michigan Tech improved to 10-6 overall and 7-2 in league play.
On the opposite side, Ben Stelzer netted a career-high 21 points for Michigan Tech and made six-of-eight three-pointers in the triumph. Ali Haidar added 19 points and 10 rebounds in a double-double effort for the preseason divisional favorites.
Defending GLIAC North Champion Ferris State shot 39.2% (20-51) for the game and hit seven-of-22 (31.8%) three's, but was only seven-of-17 (41.2%) at the free throw line. Michigan Tech, meanwhile, hit 48.9% (22-45) of its field goal tries and sank 10-of-21 (47.6%) three's in addition to 13-of-22 (59.1%) attempts at the stripe.
The Huskies converted 63.6% (14-22) of their field goals in the final half of action.
Overall, the Bulldogs outrebounded Michigan Tech 33-30 for the game and had 12 offensive boards to only seven for the Huskies. However, FSU was outscored 10-8 in second chance scoring. Senior forward Jerrell Sanders (Grand Rapids/Creston) recorded nine boards to lead the Bulldogs.
FSU had only 10 turnovers in the game and totaled eight steals to only four for Michigan Tech. Both teams netted 11 assists and two blocked shots while MTU finished with 11 turnovers.
Senior guard Donate Molden (Detroit/Pershing) and Brown both had three assists apiece for the Bulldogs while Sanders added a game-high three steals for FSU.
The game featured six lead changes and the score was tied four times before a crowd of 1,642 fans on hand for the divisonal showdown.
The Bulldogs will wrap up their two-game trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula as they visit Northern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 21) with tipoff set for 3 p.m. (ET) at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.
The contest can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network. It is also accessible online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.